Accredited online degrees or online education programs offered by schools in the US are certified by an accrediting organization accepted by the US Department of Education. The primary accrediting body in the US is the Distance Education and Training Council whose primary job is to recognize online schools. However, there are still other accrediting agencies in the US outside of the Distance Education and Training Council. Accredited schools in the US offer either full online programs or one full online program aside from campus grants.
Regional and Programmatic Accreditation
A complete list of accredited online degrees can be searched over the Internet. An accreditation for an entire educational institution is called a regional accreditation while an accreditation for a specific degree program or department is known as programmatic accreditation. There are instances when some schools do not possess programmatic accreditation for certain fields of study even if the school as a whole is accredited.
Standard of Excellence
Offline and online accredited degree programs provide assurance that the programs offered by the learning institution are in accordance with standards of excellence as developed by the proper authorities in the field. Specialized educational accreditation can be provided for departments and degree programs including that for engineering, clinical sociology and business.
Accrediting Organizations for Specific Degrees
Accreditation for a specific program is carried out by organizations who are experts in certain fields. Examples of an accrediting organization is the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Ceramic Society which are under a primary accrediting body for technical fields such as engineering and computer science. The Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education ensures the quality of nursing degrees and certificate programs in the US before accreditation since 1998. The Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the foremost accrediting agent for online schools and programs.
An example of a university that has accredited online degrees is Walden University. The school offers Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing, Finance, Entrepreneurship, International Business, etc., MS in Software Engineering, MS in Education, MS in Management-Human Resources, MS in Public Administration, MS in Psychology- Applied Psychology, Ph.D in Applied Management and Decision Sciences – Accounting, Doctor of Business Administration – Finance to name a few.